While much of the news coverage dealing with the medical cannabis industry in Southern California deals with regulation and enforcement, a recent article from News Review offers advice on the proper way to act when visiting a medical marijuana dispensary.
The first thing you need to know is you must have a letter of recommendation from your doctor, stating medical cannabis would treat your health condition, and your California driver’s license or state issued non-driver ID card. There will probably be a security guard who asks to see and verify your letter and ID before you are permitted to enter the establishment. It should be noted, most of these security guards are especially friendly to medical marijuana patients, so this is not exactly like an ID check at a local bar.
Next, you will be required to become of a member of the club, which will require you to fill out an application requesting personal and biographical information. You will also be presented with a copy of club policies and guidelines to review. Once you have completed all necessary paperwork, you will be allowed to actually enter the club. In the past, there were apparently additional warnings presented to patients, but most dispensaries have become less formal over the past 10 years.
As noted by the article’s author, the first tip is not to panic when you first enter a medical cannabis club, which may be difficult, because it can be a very overwhelming experience. There will likely be a huge line of greatly varied medical cannabis products from which you must choose, ranging from inhalers to cooking sauces.
There will be an employee present to answer any questions and assist you, and this employee is often called the club’s “budtender.” Your budtender can help you choose which medical cannabis product will best serve your particular needs, but, you should be cautioned, it often takes more than one try to find a product that works best for your medical condition.
Another helpful tip is to avoid using slang terms like weed, pot, or hash, and you should use professional terminology like cannabis and concentrate oils.
Once you have made your selection and leave the club, as our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys can explain, it is best not to consume your medical cannabis until you arrive at your home. Sitting in your car, and especially driving under the influence of marijuana, is still illegal and can result in your arrest for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. It is also illegal to share medical marijuana with anyone who does not possess a valid doctor’s recommendation letter, so you should take caution not to do so.
One other tip, which is more of a request for medical cannabis club operators, is to be respectful of the neighborhood. Do not walk around high and disturb others, as neighborhood complaints are the main reason authorities will target a medical marijuana club for enforcement or closure. Being respectful of those who live and work around the club is the best way to keep your club operating.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
The dos and don’ts of how to behave at a medical-cannabis dispensary , April 16, 2015, News Review
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